Tigers' Victor, J.D. Martinez homer in win over Rangers
Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez hit back-to-back homers and both knocked in two runs, leading the Detroit Tigers to an 8-6 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
Miguel Cabrera also drove in two for the Tigers, who have won six games in a row, including the first two of this three-game series.
"We believe in ourselves and we're trusting ourselves," said Victor Martinez.
Anibal Sanchez (5-2) improved to 5-0 in his last nine starts after throwing 5 1/3 innings and despite giving up four runs on six hits.
J.D. Martinez went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to an MLB-high 14 games, increasing his batting average to .411 over that span with six homers and 17 RBI.
The Rangers' season-high losing streak reached seven games. Carlos Pena hit a solo home run in his second game for the team since being signed to a minor- league deal last week and called up on Tuesday.
Joe Saunders (0-4) took the loss after giving up six runs on seven hits and five walks in four-plus innings. He is 0-7 in his last 11 starts dating back to last season.
"He just hasn't been throwing strikes. And when he throws strikes, they're over the middle of the plate," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "He hasn't been able to get the ball on the corners."
Detroit closer Joe Nathan gave up a one-out double to Shin-Soo Choo in the ninth and an RBI single to Adrian Beltre, but got the last two outs to pick up his 16th save.
The Tigers jumped on Saunders for three runs in the first inning. Rajai Davis tripled to deep right-center field on the game's second pitch, Ian Kinsler walked and Cabrera knocked in the first run with a sacrifice fly.
Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez followed with consecutive RBI doubles to make it 3-0.
Detroit went up 5-0 in the third after Kinsler led off with a double and scored when Cabrera sliced a double to the right-field corner. Cabrera came home on Torii Hunter's single.
The Rangers got their first baserunner in the third inning and scored their first runs in the fourth, when Choo led off with a single and came home on Beltre's double to left. Beltre later scored on an error and Robinson Chirinos added an RBI single to get Texas within 5-3.
The Martinez homers in the fifth inning came on back-to-back pitches thrown by two different pitchers.
Victor Martinez drove Saunders' breaking ball over the center-field wall to lead off the inning for his 20th homer of the season, chasing the lefty from the game. J.D. Martinez hit a first-pitch fastball from Shawn Tolleson into the visitors bullpen behind right-center for his ninth homer and a 7-3 lead.
Pena homered to lead off the sixth, his first home run since a three-run walk- off blast in the 10th inning last June 20 for Houston against Milwaukee.
Elvis Andrus drew a leadoff walk in the seventh against Blaine Hardy, went to third base on Beltre's single off Al Alburquerque and scored on Alex Rios' sacrifice fly to get the Rangers within 7-5.
Detroit got one of the runs back on Eugenio Suarez's RBI double off the wall in left in the eighth. Bryan Holaday was thrown out standing up at home trying to score from first base on the play.
According to the TV broadcast, Pena's homer landed in a pan of brisket in a concession area behind right field ... Sanchez had five strikeouts ... Texas was 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position, stranding nine on base.
06/26 02:11:57 ET